Expanding social security protection and health care in Cambodia

Project description

Title: Improving Social Protection and Health in Cambodia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Country: Cambodia
Lead executing agency: National Social Protection Council (NSPC), represented by its General Secretariat
Overall term: 2021 to 2024

Sam Vong Khemrey (Wing agent) and Ou Sea (beneficiary) during the COVID cash transfer payout. © GIZ/Conor Wall


Cambodia’s social security system is still at the early stages of its development. To date, the most comprehensive protection is provided through the Health Equity Fund, which offers non-contributory coverage to approximately 2.5 million people from poor and vulnerable groups. The few other social programmes in place provide only low levels of coverage or have limited scope of protection. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the services being offered do not match the emerging needs and are not equally accessible to all population groups.

While financial access to health services has improved in recent years, quality remains poor. Bottlenecks arise due to the inadequate basic qualifications of health professionals and issues with the medical laboratory system.


The social security and health systems have been strengthened and improved in terms of resilience, inclusiveness and the quality of performance.


The project provides advice on how to make the social security system crisis-proof and inclusive, as well as on National Council for Social Security (NSPC) processes and on cooperation between ministries. It is also supporting the digital transformation of the social security system with technical know-how.

In order to ensure that vulnerable groups are better taken into account in the social security system, the project is supporting the further development of the existing database of poor households (IDPoor) into a comprehensive social register and the development of social security programmes in a crisis-proof manner.

Another aim is to create the conditions for skills-based training of doctors and laboratory technicians. To do so, the project broadens competences and strengthens partner organisations for implementation and monitoring. It is also committed to revising curricula in accordance with the national standards and to developing quality assurance measures for training at institutions receiving support. Twelve laboratories are also receiving assistance with efforts to improve quality management.

Last update: April 2022